Rechnitz
Rechnitz, Austria
  • Příběh
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Looking back to Hungary in the night

Dostupné v: English | Magyar

Jenő Ivánfi and his friends left Hungary at the end of November 1956. After having crossed safely „the land of nobody” their guide turned back before the borderline. Before he was said goodbye, he was asked: ’Please, tell us how on earth you can know every inch of this territory so well.’ ’I used to be a border officer.’ – said the trafficker briefly. They couldn’t get a better guide. They continued to walk in the direction they were told. In some minutes time they heard: „Halt! Wer Da?” An Austrian border soldier noticed them. They stepped out of the trees with arms up, they said they hadn’t got either any weapons or munitions with them, they said they were Hungarian refugess, „wir sind Ungarische Flüchtlinge.” He showed them the way to the nearest Austrian village. „Then I sat down on the first milestone. It was a high place, we could look at the region down, in the valley, where the lights were on… streetlightings in the villages. Then I smoked a cigarette, the first after a long day, and I thought over what I had done, what I should do next. I thought about my wife, my children, when I would meet them again. A prayer helps always.” Then they continued their way. On the periphery of the village a young guy came out of a backery with a big basket full of „pretzels, salty rolls, buns, he wore a white cap and a coat, he looked at us and he asked:’Sind Sie aus Ungarn?’” The boy handed them the basket. They took out some pieces of bread, they thanked them. They arrived to Rechnitz. Their first way was to the Austrian Red Cross where they got their first papers.

Jenő Ivánfi

Jenő Ivánfi

Jenő Ivánfi was born as Jenő Ivancsics in 1929 in Eger. His father was railway engineer, he had to choose a Hungarian family name as a civil servant when he was appointed chief counsellor at Hungarian National Railways. Jenő Ivánfi graduated at György Fráter Secondary School of the Minorites in Miskolc. In 1947 he began his university studies at the Science Faculty of Szeged University. Despite his excellent grades he was expelled among the first political victims from the university for having backed Cardinal József Mindszenty in public. In 1949 thanks to his professors’ support he could continue his studies at Loránd Eötvös University in Budapest. He became chemist, he got his degree in 1952, but he could get a job but a working place where others didn’t want to go. So he went to work to Borsod Chemical Trust, and was trained in energetics and coal chemics at the different firms of the Trust, he supervised the construction of the Coke Plant in Kazincbarcika. He married Éva Joszt in 1953. In 1954 he managed to move to the new Research Institute for Heavy Chemistry where he worked as research engineer. His family, his wife and his new-borned daughter Andrea followed him to Veszprém. His second daughter Mónika was born in 1956. During the Hungarian revolution he saved the wounded from the line the fire in Budapest and he distributed leaflets. After the Soviet invasion of November 4 some members of his family succeeded to fly to Austria. He decided with two friends of hime to follow their example. They left for Szombathely by train. In the train he met a colleague whom he gave the keys of his flat. He met a stranger, too, „Uncle János” who offered himself to help them to cross the green border. He said he was a former border officer. By his help they managed to cross the Austrian frontier. They got an accomodation in the refugee camp at the fortress of Stadtschlaiding. Jenő Ivánfi and one of his friends who wanted to go on to West Germany was housed in Wien by an Austrian acquaintance of him. They applied for a job immidiately at the embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany. Thanks also to his German knowledge since December 1956 he was employed at EBV Hauptlaboratorium in Alsdorf (Germany, before Bundesrepublic of Deutschland) as analytical engineer until 1961. After he had had accomodation and job he asked the reunion of his family. Nevertheless he got the German entrance permit for them in a very brief time, the Hungarian authorities hindered his wife and his children to leave the Hungarian People’s Republic. So finally in 1961 he decided to rejoin his family and to return in Hungary. Returned home, he lived in Debrecen. He earned his living as ordure cleaner, and unskilled worker. The political police watched him and contacted him several times. In 1961 he finally got a job at the Stain Factory in Tiszaszederkény of the Tisza Chemical Plants, he became again there research engineer. He regularly published papers in professional periodicals and he was sent to international conferences due to his language knowledge. He soon was appointed the head of the research department. However the political police continued to control him and they tried to reclute him to be an intelligent agent by promising that he could leave the country together with his family. His third child András was born in 1964. In 1972 he asked his placement to Borsod Chemical Trust in Kazincbarcika. Here he was product manager since 1982, and he organized the production of PVC windows on national scale. He retired in 1989. He joined the Christian Democratic People’s Party and led the local organization of it. In 1990 he became vice-major of the city of Kazincbarcika. In 1994 he was honoured the Gold Cross of the Hungarian Republic. He lives in Sajógalgóc with his wife in a beautifully restored old house built in the 18th century. Founder of the Local Circle for Monuments’ Protection, his hobby is the history of the so-called cul-de-sac villages.

Rechnitz

Dostupné v: English | Magyar

Rechnitz (Rohonc in Hungarian) is a small municipality in Burgenland near to the border with Hungary. Up until the peace treaties of 1920-21 which closed WWI both this village and the surrounding area had been a part of Hungary. A railroad was built at the end of the 19th century which linked Rechnitz to the industrial and cultural centre of the region, Szombathely. In spite of the division of the territory between Austria and Hungary, trains continued to pass on this line until 1953 when the borderline got closed by the Hungarian authorities. At the very end of WWII a cruel massacre took place in Rechnitz. The revelling guest of Countess Batthyány left the caste with guns in the night of March 24, 1945 and they killed some 200 Jewish people in labour service. The event was silenced until the 2000s. After WWII the communication between the Hungarian and Austrian villages of the region broke totally. Rechnitz, due to its position near to the frontier, was one of the Austrian villages where Hungarian refugees who arrived to Austria in the course of the emigration wave after the 1956 Hungarian revolution arrived in great quantity after having crossed „the green border”.

Rechnitz

Na tomto místě

Looking back to Hungary in the night

Looking back to Hungary in the night

Jenő Ivánfi
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